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There are three general phases in the life of a federal student loan. Not all loans have a grace period, so it's important to be aware of all of your loan types and when the first payments are due. Understanding the life cycle of your loan will help you when making decisions about your student loans.

Learn More About Student Loan Repayment
  • While you are still in school and enrolled at least half-time, you don't have to make any student loan payments, and you can focus on your studies. It is important to work with your school's financial aid office and keep up with deadlines or other requirements.
  • A grace period is the time in between graduation (or a drop below half-time enrollment) and the time your first payment is due. The grace period is usually six months, but it may be more or less depending on the type of loan.
  • If your loans have a standard, six-month grace period, your first payment will be due approximately six months after you graduate or drop to below half-time enrollment. Make sure your student loan servicer has all of your current contact information and explore the different repayment plans and how to make your payments, such as electronically or via automatic debit.

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